Topsham pub re-listed on national heritage list

Listing. Public Houses.
Bridge Inn, Bridge Hill, Topsham, Devon.
General view from the south.

The Bridge Inn, Bridge Hill, Topsham. - Credit: The Historic England Archive, Hi

The Bridge Inn at Topsham has been re-listed on the National Heritage List.

The Bridge Inn in has been given the status by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of Historic England.

The Bridge Inn has been run by the same family since 1897. The entrance leads to a panelled corridor, on the left of which is the tap room, with fixed seating and rare historic advertising in the glazing above the door for Kennaway’s Scotch whisky.

Listing. Public Houses.Bridge Inn, Bridge Hill, Topsham, Devon.Portrait of landlady Caroline Cheff

Portrait of landlady Caroline Cheffers-Heard seated in the Inner Sanctum. - Credit: The Historic England Archive, Hi

A little further on is the back of an old settle or freestanding bench seat, glazed at the top, forming a snug. It features a large stone fireplace, a salt cupboard and a hatch to a parlour through which drinks are fetched from the ground-floor ‘cellar’.

The parlour area is a private space in which customers may be invited to sit. Only a few other pubs in the country are thought to have similar rooms where customers can sit in a space behind a working serving area.

Listing. Public Houses.
Bridge Inn, Bridge Hill, Topsham, Devon.
Lounge, general view showing small

Bar, servery and seating. - Credit: The Historic England Archive, Hi

At the rear, the malt-house room is only used for functions or as an overflow  The bar counter here was installed in the mid-1960s but the brick fireplace is inter-war and one of the old hop shoots survives. Between the cellar and the malt-house is a brick-built furnace that provided hot air for malting.

Eleven pubs across England have been listed, upgraded or relisted as part of this project The list of pubs was put forward by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Pub Heritage Group, Historic England and CAMRA.

Listing. Public Houses.Bridge Inn, Bridge Hill, Topsham, Devon.Former malt-house, general view sho

TheFormer malt-house at the Bridge Inn, Topsham.

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Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England said: “At a time when many historic pubs in England are susceptible to change or at risk of closure, we are pleased to celebrate pubs that have kept their remarkable interiors. These rare interiors help tell the fascinating story of pubs over the centuries and how they reflected society.”

Paul Ainsworth, Chairman of CAMRA Pub Heritage Group said: “Times are tough for all pubs at the moment, including those with important historic interiors. The more protection they can receive, the better. We have been working with Historic England to identify pubs that deserve it."